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Burgner, M. (1994). Working with the HIV Patient: A Psychoanalytic Approach. Psychoanal. Psychother., 8(3):201-213.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 8(3):201-213


Working with the HIV Patient: A Psychoanalytic Approach

Marion Burgner

The paper gives an account of the author's participation in the AIDS Workshop, which is made up of a group of psychoanalysts at the Tavistock Clinic. The members of the Workshop consider their patients, suffering from the HIV virus and AIDS, who are treated mostly in once-weekly psychotherapy. The treatment process is discussed, as well as theoretical and clinical issues which arise from the work. A short survey is given in the paper of the incidence of HIV and AIDS in various groups of people in the UK over the past twelve years. Following a discussion of connections between psyche and soma in these patients, clinical material is presented from therapeutic work with three men treated by the author. The paper ends with theoretical considerations arising from clinical work with such patients in regard to the psychic meanings for them of HIV and AIDS, the absence of internal conflict and the nature and content of their relationships.

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